Moving to China
Today’s guest blog post is from Hannah who moved from Solihull with her husband and children to China.
Around 10 years ago, Steve & I had received a prophetic word, about “moving around quite significantly”. This validated some of what we’d already sensed; even as a dating couple we knew that the nations were on God’s heart and his plan for our lives. (Neither of us could listen to Keith Green’s “Jesus Commands us to GO” with dry eyes!) Sometime later, about 12 or 18 months before China was even on our radar, Rob Davey had a prophetic picture of Steve travelling on aeroplanes for business (Steve’s ministry!). I was genuinely upset with Rob and with God about this word. We had 2 very young sons and I was not ready to grapple with doing the lone parenting thing, whilst Steve jetted off around the world! But God knew that his plan involved our whole family and his timing is perfect.
The door to China jarred open to us quite unexpectedly in 2015. We felt released by God to choose whether to go, or to stay put in Solihull; he was pleased with us either way. It felt like a weird dream. The job offer was there –but were we really going to do it? It felt unlikely! We began to do some “what if…?” dreaming. As we did, we found that our hearts were excited, surprisingly so. So we were sent in October 2015, with the love, support and a raft of prophetic encouragements from our Jubilee Solihull family.
Nearly 2 years in to our China adventure, we find ourselves part of a vibrant and truly international church family and part of a diverse community. The boys have an incredible education at a British international school, with classmates and friends from all over the world. We have neighbours and friends who are like family to us – in and out of one another’s houses and lives. We are privileged!
Since we arrived here God has shown me a couple of really key things:
Firstly, the carefully, thoughtfully selected gifts, heart and calling that God has given us does not change because we move to a different location. Conversely, those gifts are entirely necessary and relevant – even if it doesn’t look like that initially. When we step out, God grows us in the gifts he’s given us, in ways we cannot imagine or predict. In relation to this God has dealt with some of my pride, and I’ve had to push past fear in order to get my priorities aligned with his. But the upshot of that is that I have the privilege of leading people from many nations – even unexpected nations – into the glorious presence of our loving heavenly father through worship. I’ve been able to stretch the prophetic gift by gently coaching others in hearing from God, where that is not the norm or the expectation. It’s really exciting to see people’s faith shoot up in response to realising God speaks to them – and my faith grows too! It’s also looked as simple as being God’s love in relationships -listening to the nudges of the Holy Spirit and partnering with him to see the oppressed brought into greater freedom.
Secondly and more recently, God has repeatedly reminded me of the truth: that he created us to live in this time – we are intended to demonstrate his love in this generation! We just have to love those who God has put across our path. And we’ve seen that God can work anywhere! Even with restrictions placed upon church or freedom of speech – God is bigger and higher than that. He just wants us to have relationship with him exactly where we are. That is the key! He is a relational God. We are made in his image. Nothing can stop him!!! He gets the glory – and we get blessed to be part of what he is doing – right where we are –wherever that is.